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5 Must-Have Qualities of a Great Scrum Master

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Kazeem Razaq @K.Razaq / 2:00 PM EDT. June 03, 2022.

scrum master qualities

What makes a great Scrum Master? First of all, it's true that without the hard work of the team, there would be no finished product. So in order to excel, you need an amazing and dedicated team.

But, in order to get the project across the finish line in record time, both parties (the team and the Scrum Master) need to trust each other. This is where common ground, and an excellent and honest mentor comes into play. The mentor is of course, the Scrum Master. There are 5 common traits that I repeatedly see in every successful Scrum Master - and this article is where I will share my findings with you.

Scrum Master is one of the most important positions in the Agile community. But the role of a Scrum Master isn't very well understood. In today's post, I'm going to walk through five things that make a Scrum Master great. These tips will help you to improve your own performance as a Scrum Master - or help you get promoted to be one.

Getting five people together is easy enough. But getting a group and their ideas to work as a cohesive unit? Well, that’s one for the record books. Scrum Masters are skilled professionals who possess the ability to bring teams together and guide them toward common goals. Sounds like a Jedi mind trick, right? It isn't. The best Scrum Masters have a well-balanced set of skills that allow them to effectively manage projects and team members alike. Here are the five must-have qualities of truly great Scrum Masters:

What are the Major Qualities of a Scrum Master?

We all know that for a great product, you need to have a great team. But what makes a great team?

A great team is made up of strong, balanced members. They are able to work well together while also contributing their own unique strengths.

The same can be said for scrum masters. A good scrum master can make or break a team. Scrum masters are responsible for making sure the team stays on track and achieves its goals.

top qualities of a scrum master

1. Adaptability

You should be able to adapt to change. In other words, you need resilience, and grit. Adaptability is one of the most common qualities of an excellent Scrum Master. A good Scrum Master is able to adapt to new situations and requirements, he or she can also adapt when priorities are changing or when people are coming and going on the team.

A great Scrum Master knows how to deal with changing environments, circumstances and colleagues in order not only to keep the project moving forward but also to improve it at every step.

2. Servant Leadership

In a nutshell, servant leadership is a leadership style that emphasizes the importance of putting the needs of others before one's own. The focus is on serving and helping others to achieve their goals.

Servant leaders are often described as being "bad bosses" because they do not make decisions for their teams. Instead, they encourage their teammates to come up with solutions to problems on their own—free from outside influences or pressures. Servants also reduce their own power by sharing information freely with those under them so that everyone has access to all relevant information when making decisions together.

A Scrum Master should know how to lead without authority; they should be able to influence without command; they should promote harmony without bureaucracy; they should motivate without coercion.

Adaptability and servant leadership are soft skills - and in addition to these traits, a good Scrum Master should exhibit qualities related specifically to Scrum, which brings us to the technical skills and know-how...

3. Tech Savvy

agile methodology

Obviously! Of course, in order to be an amazing Scrum Master, you have to be tech-savvy. You don't necessarily have to know how to write code or create a website from scratch, but it is essential that you know how the development team works and what they're doing. However, that isn't to say that you don't need any tech skills whatsoever - to be honest you will need to know atleast the basics of HTML, CSS/Sass (or Less), and JavaScript/jQuery

As a Scrum Master, your job is not only to help the team deliver value as fast as possible but also to make sure they have all the tools they need in order to do so. For example: if there's a tool that would help them get their work done faster and better, it's your responsibility (and privilege) as the SM to ensure that everyone on your team has access to it.

4. Confidence and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a must for any Scrum Master. This means you need to be able to manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. As a Scrum Master, you will face many challenges that require flexibility and resilience. You need to be able to adapt quickly when things go wrong or change course midstream. Conflict often arises when people are working in close quarters together on projects that require collaboration and cooperation. It's important for you to learn how to deal with conflict productively in order for everyone involved with the project from getting along well together.

5. Organization and Communication Skills

Scrum Masters have a lot of communication to do, and that’s why they need strong organizational skills. If you think of a project as an organized timeline with specific pieces of work in appropriate stages at any given time, then it makes sense that organization is important for planning and prioritizing the work. In order to make sure you get everything done on time and within budget, your team needs clear guidelines on how to prioritize tasks. Organization skills can help you achieve this goal by giving your team members direction on when each task should be completed (or if it should even be started).

Another reason why organization skills are important is that they ensure that all stakeholders are kept up-to-date on the progress being made by your team. You don't want one stakeholder calling another stakeholder just because he wasn't aware that something was delivered last week or isn't aware that something has been delayed this month!

scrum master qualities

In the era of agile, more companies are flocking to this project management methodology. And as a result, Scrum Masters are becoming more sought after than ever before. If you’re looking for your first role in this exciting field or have been working with teams for years and want to take your career to the next level, pay close attention to these 5 key qualities and make it your mission to incorporate them into your day-to-day.

Do you dream of becoming a Scrum Master? At BusyQA, you have access to our premium IT courses that will help you get there. Best of all, we offer paid co-op internships with all of our courses so that you build valuable working experience while you study with us -- and you'll have the opportunity to get hired by Canada's top 100 companies (all of which have hired OUR graduates). Get in touch with us to discover our cutting edge curriculum - with BusyQA, you could be on your way to the top in just a few few short months, click here to find out more.


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